Highlights of Iceland – 13 days

This itinerary makes you lose in a wide variety of Icelandic landscapes: from geysers to waterfalls, from the highlands to the coasts. 


Day 1  Arrival 

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A car can be picked up in Keflavík airport terminal and agenda organised this day according to arrival time, interest and circumstances. An option is exploring Reykjanes peninsula, enjoy the Blue lagoon, or mix of nature and the city. Another option is using a convenient transfer to Reykjavik and pick-up the car there the next morning. Overnight in the city of Reykjavík.

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Day 2  Landmannalaugar  

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After some driving, today’s itinerary includes one of the brightest pearls of the whole country: Landmannalaugar, known for its natural geothermal hot springs and for its landscape of lava, flowered meadows, steam and mountains so beautiful and colourful that seem to be painted. HIking trails of different lenght allow you to choose the perfect activity for your taste and shape. Overnight in Landmannalaugar hut or nearby. 

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Day 3  Seljalandsfoss – Skógar – Vík

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First, drive back to the Ring Road from the highlands, from there you soon reach the village of Hella. On the road you will get an overview of mt. Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, and have chance to visit the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the first being somehow romantic as it is possible to walk all around the fall, the second being perfect in its shape. The last stop of the day will be on the cliffs of Dyrhólaey, to look for the puffin colonies or for an amazing sunset. Overnight in Vík or nearby.

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Day 4  Skaftafell – Jökulsárlón – Djúpivogur

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Today, you cross the vast sandur, the coastal plain formed of sediments from jökulhlaup, glacial outburst floods. The lava field Eldhraun is nearby Kirkjubæjarklaustur. You pass Lómagnúpur (Loon Peak), one of Iceland‘s most recognizable mountains. From there you head to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park, one of biggest national park in Europe, to see and maybe touch Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Overnight in Skaftafell area. 

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Day 5  Jökulsárlón – Djúpivogur

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This morning can be perfect for some short hikes in the National Park. Among the most popular ones, the hike that leads to the scenic Svartifoss and, hiking for a longer time, to Skaftafellsheiði to get some amazing overview of the giant glacier. Continuing east, the Ring Road takes us to Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon before reaching Djúpivogur. Overnight in Djúpivogur.

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Day 6  Lón – Lagarfljót – Seyðisfjörður

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From Höfn the Ring Road takes us along the scenic coast to Lón and Djúpivogur, a small fishing village. There are more than one option or routes from here. Take a mountain route and spend time driving around Lagarfljót, the lake south of Egilsstadir close to which lake Hengifoss hides, before venturing into a fjord. Overnight in or nearby Seyðisfjörður. 

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Day 7 Eastfjords – Vopnafjörður

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Spend some time in Seyðisfjörður or explore some other fjords, then head north over some of the most spectacular mountain routes experiencing breathtaking views whilst hugging the dramatic coastline. Some hidden fjords will disclose in front of your eyes until you reach the charming village of Vopnafjörður. Overnight in or nearby Vopnafjörður. 

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Day 8  Langanes – Raufarhöfn

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From Vopnafjörður keep heading north to the fishing villages of the northeast: Bakkafjörður and Þórshöfn. And a detour to the beautiful Langanes peninsula (bird cliffs) is a great option. In late afternoon, drive to Raufarhöfn, a fishing village with beautiful views of the coast. In Raufarhöfn, an Arctic Henge is being built, i.e. a stone circle formation celebrating Nordic mythology and Icelandic folklore.  Nearby is Hraunhafnartangi, the northernmost point of mainland Iceland. Overnight in Raufarhöfn.

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Day 9  Jökulsárgljúfur – Mývatn

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Follow the coast of Melrakkaslétta plain, which is renowned for the natural splendor of its spring and summer nights, numerous lakes and rich bird life. An area of tranquility. A stop in the village Kópasker to learn about its culture and visit the Kópasker Earthquake Center and the Folk Museum. And continue to horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi.
Depending on season and circumstances, it is possible to take the eastern or western area of the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Amongst other places, see the splendid waterfall Dettifoss, which is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Arriving to Mývatn area, there are nice spots to visit, such as Krafla and Námafjall. Visit to Mývatn Nature baths might be considered in the evening. Overnight in Mývatn area.

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Day 10  Mývatn – Húsavík

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Lake Mývatn is one of the highlights of the north and one of the places most people want to visit and explore. Travelling around the lake, and there are several great places to visit. For example Hverfjall volcano, Dimmuborgir lava field and Skútustaðir pseudo craters. Head towards Húsavík and explore local history and culture. According to the Landnámabók (“Book of Settlement”), Húsavík was the first place in Iceland to be settled by a Norseman. The Swedish Viking Garðar Svavarsson stayed there for one winter around 870 A.D. The name of the town means “bay of houses” whichrefers to Garðar’s homestead. Húsavík is also known for its coastal culture and being „whale capital of Iceland“. In summer seasons are many departures from mornings to evenings. Overnight in Húsavík.

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Day 11  Goðafoss – Akureyri 

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After leaving Húsavík, the route might lead to the turf house/ farm museum Grenjaðarstaður. For a long time it was one of the area’s chief farms, and the picturesque turf house, dating from 1865, was one of Iceland’s largest. It is a unique experience to wander through it and imagine how life once was. Next is Goðafoss, one of Iceland’s scenic waterfalls. The day end in Akureyri, a center of North Iceland, and a very lovely city – small, attractive and easy to navigate. Explore its harbor along Eyjafjörður; its several museums; the Botanical Garden, which has Icelandic native plant species or enjoy other options. Overnight in Akureyri. 

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Day 12  Dalvík – Siglufjörður – Skagafjörður

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From Akureyri, the route goes along Eyjafjörður, and give chance to visit and get bit to know villages and towns, such as Árskógssandur, Dalvík and Ólafsfjörður. Siglufjördur is a very scenic and historic fishing village, situated on the magnificent peninsula “Tröllaskagi” that with its high mountains and deep fjords and renowned for its beauty. The Herring Museum in Siglufjörður is the largest seafaring and industrial museum in the country. Then, head towards Skagafjörður, exploring Fljót, visit Hofsós and Sauðárkrókur. Horses are strong item in culture and activities in the region. End the day and overnight in Varmahlíð or nearby.

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Day 13  Kjölur – Reykjavík/Keflavík 

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Leave Varmahlíð and head towards Reykjavík area. It is a very good option taking the highlands route named Kjölur. That gives you the chance to witness some superb wild landscapes, to briefly visit special areas (Hveravellir, Kerlingarfjöll) and also to end the tour in grand style at Iceland’s most famous attractions, such as Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, Strokkur and Geysir, which gave its name to geysers worldwide, and Þingvellir National Park, where the world’s first parliament convened in 930 C.E. It lies in the deeply fractured rift zone where the tectonic plates are spreading apart and upwelling lava creates new land. Overnight in Reykjavík / or this day might possibly end in Keflavík, depending on the plan of departure from Iceland. 

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